A Conflict of Interest

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Don't bring your work home. Don't mix business with pleasure. Don't poop where you eat. Personal life and professional life should be separate.


The concept is simple enough. In order to be objective at work, we need to remain unbiased. For example, a doctor can't treat his/her spouse because of conflict of interest.

According to Thomas Sheeran on Huffington Post, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Connie Schultz resigned from her position at The Plain Dealer due to her husband's senatorial race. She explained that her decision resulted from the fact that her newspaper regularly reports on her husband's election.

Journalists and politicians are like macaroni and cheese; one without the other is devastating. The idea that either one would have to choose between a spouse and a career is equally devastating.

Schultz worked for The Plain Dealer for 18 years. Although she will no longer work for that newspaper, she will continue to writing for magazines and her book. I don't know how she chose one love over another, but it was her decision to make.

As a political science and multi-media journalism major, I often wonder whether I want to make headlines or write them. In high school I had the best of both worlds; I was president of student council and editor of the newspaper. I have avoided conflict between my two interests so far, but in the real world, I know I will have to decide.

4 comments:

Jessalyn Holdcraft September 20, 2011 at 3:20 PM  

Photo By: http://www.flickr.com/photos/magro-family/4330235581/

Cait September 20, 2011 at 5:08 PM  

I absolutely loved your comparison of relationships with Mac n' Cheese with the relationship of politicians and reports. I personally couldn't imagine giving up my career for my husband because of the coverage; however, I'm sure she made the right decision for her family.
Keep up the good work!
-Cait

Rachel Smith September 20, 2011 at 5:48 PM  

It's interesting that you posted this. This weekend I attended a conference where a journalist speaking on ethics commented that if you write about something or somone, you can't be involved with that person, orgainzation, movement, or thing at all. It's impossible to write in an unbiased fashion if you're supporting that organizaiton (etc) in your personal life.

SarinaRhinehart September 20, 2011 at 6:57 PM  

I believe she made the right choice because they would never let her write any article about her husband. Plus, it would be awkward if a journalist at the paper wrote an article bashing the candidate. It could cause arguments, or the journalists at the paper would census what they wrote so as not to offend Mrs. Schultz.

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